Mac Keith Press started in 1959 when The Spastics Society, a charity for people with cerebral palsy (now called Scope), approached Dr Ronald Mac Keith and his colleagues about improving the care of children with cerebral palsy. Dr Mac Keith responded by setting up the Press as a source of information.
Ronnie Mac Keith
Dr Ronnie Mac Keith was born in Southampton on 23 February 1908 and was educated there at King Edward VI School. In 1926 he was admitted to Queen’s College, Oxford. From Oxford he went on to St Mary’s Hospital Medical School and obtained his BM, BCh in 1932. He completed his post-graduate training as Radcliffe Travelling Fellow at the Bellevue Hospital, New York. Later, he joined the staff of Guy’s Hospital and was appointed Children’s Physician to the hospital in 1948. Shortly afterwards he started a cerebral palsy advice clinic and this developed in 1964 into the Newcomen Centre for Handicapped Children.
Dr Mac Keith became associated with The Spastics Society in the early 1950s and became Director of the Medical Education and Information Unit in 1958, an organisation which arranged a series of meetings and study groups through to 1977. In 1958 he was instrumental in founding the Cerebral Palsy Bulletin which later became Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (DMCN), and he remained Senior Editor of this journal and of its associated series of book publications, the Clinics in Developmental Medicine Series up until the time of his death.
Dr Martin Bax worked with Dr Mac Keith for many years at Mac Keith Press and was instrumental in establishing the popular Clinics in Developmental Medicine series. He took over as Senior Editor of DMCN in 1978 following the death of Dr Mac Keith, while continuing to work as a consultant developmental paediatrician in the NHS. In 1990, the journal increased its publication from 6 to 12 issues a year. Because of his diplomatic efforts, DMCN became the official journal of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, and the British Paediatric Neurology Association. It also developed close ties with the European Academy of Child Disability, where Dr Bax was Chairperson from 2000 to 2008. During his time as Senior Editor, he established Mac Keith Meetings, Mac Keith Press workshops, and Mac Keith lectures. He retired as Senior Editor in 2003. The Collected Editorials by Martin C O Bax from Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 1961–2003 (ISBN 1-898683-41-7) was published by Mac Keith Press in 2004. Dr Bax is Life President of the Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes.
Martin Bax has been a major contributor to the first three editions of Diseases of the Nervous System, edited by Jean Aicardi. He is also co-editor with Ian Crocker of The Placenta and Neurodisability, 2nd Edition (2015). Both books are part of the Clinics in Developmental Medicine series, published by Mac Keith Press.
Dr Peter Baxter became Editor in Chief of DMCN in 2004. A paediatric neurologist working at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, one of Dr Baxter’s first projects at the journal was the introduction of invited commentaries on selected papers. Regular podcasts conducted by Dr Baxter with authors and reviewers also began around this time. He oversaw the transfer to electronic submission of manuscripts in 2007–8 , which dramatically cut back on decision times. Later innovations included ‘Editor’s Choice’ (papers considered to have special importance) and themed Virtual Issues. With Dr Hilary Hart as co-editor during his tenure, he expanded the journal’s focus on neurology and also significantly increased its impact factor.
Peter Baxter is editor of Vitamin Responsive Conditions in Paediatric Neurology, published in 2001 by Mac Keith Press as part of the International Review of Child Neurology Series.
Bernard Dan – Editor in Chief
Professor Bernard Dan, a paediatric neurologist and rehabilitation physician based at the Université de Bruxelles, Belgium, took over from Dr Baxter as Editor in Chief in 2015. He is currently medical director of Inkendaal Rehabilitation Hospital; full professor of neuroscience at Université libre de Bruxelles; invited professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and Université de Lorraine. His main clinical and research interests include cerebral palsy, neurogenetic conditions, and neurophysiology. He is past president of the European Academy of Childhood Disability. He has received a number of national and international awards, including the John Stobo Prichard Award (2012) and the Elsass Foundation Research Prize (2019). He has written over 300 journal articles; authored books on childhood disability and Angelman Syndrome; co-edited a major reference book on Cerebral Palsy and one on Ethics in Child Health.
Peter Rosenbaum – North American Editor
Professor Peter Rosenbaum first became acquainted with Mac Keith Press when he joined the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and was invited to edit the Academy newsletter. This role allowed him to have a close connection with both the Academy and the Press, and an opportunity to foster this unique relationship. In November 2011, he was asked by Peter Baxter (then Editor in Chief) to take on the newly created role of North American Editor.
Initially, the primary role of the North American Editor was to represent the journal to colleagues and encourage submissions, and it remains a point of contact where colleagues can turn when asking about publication issues (e.g. ‘Will the journal be interested in such-and-such topic? etc.). It dates from the longstanding transatlantic relationship between the Academy and the Press, when DMCN became the official journal of the Academy and books in the Clinics in Developmental Medicine series were offered as part of AACPDM membership. Over the years the partnership of the Editor in Chief and North American Editor has grown stronger, each acting as a sounding-board for the other and providing a much-needed cross-cultural perspective.
He writes, ‘I have always been a loyal servant and huge advocate for the Press, contributed to several books (including the Gross Motor Function Measure Manual and ICF: A Hands-on Approach for Clinicians and Families), and have also been a contributing author to many papers for DMCN over the years (including A report: the definition and classification of cerebral palsy April 2006). I try to promote the journal wherever I go in the world and have advocated for its role with the newly formed International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability. I want us to try to both understand and represent childhood disability across/around the world, and beyond what the Western world produces.’
Plans for the future include expanding publication of qualitative research and making materials available easily and quickly around the world (through the IAACD website and other online resources).
Until his recent retirement, Dr Lewis Rosenbloom was a paediatric neurologist with a special interest in neurodisability.
In 1966, he became a paediatric trainee with Dr Ronnie Mac Keith. It was during this time that he and Dr Martin Bax began their enduring friendship.
Dr Rosenbloom first published a paper in DMCN in 1971, on the maturation of fine prehension in young children. He has continued to contribute both to the journal and to the MKP book programme at frequent intervals ever since. This includes Cerebral Palsy: From Diagnosis to Adult Life (written jointly with Professor Peter Rosenbaum) and co-editing Cerebral Palsy: Science and Clinical Practice. His most recent contribution to DMCN was a commentary in 2018 on the role of the General Movements Assessment in clinical practice.
Dr Rosenbloom was invited by Dr Bax to join the Editorial Board of MKP when it was based in Netherhall Gardens, in accommodation shared with the Bobath Centre. Dr Rosenbloom writes, ‘Subsequent moves to High Holborn, Furnival Street, Scope’s basement in Market Road (former site of the controversial Conductive Education–Peto System), and now Bermondsey perhaps emphasize that location has been less important to the Press than its combination of philosophy, relationships, and output.’
He eventually succeeded the late Professor Kevin Connolly as Chair of the Editorial Board. A major commitment at that time, against a background of publishing high quality papers, was to establish and maintain strong links with American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, and other national and international organizations whose remit included childhood disability such as the British Paediatric Neurology Association, European Academy of Childhood Disability, and Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. The success in sustaining these special relationships has ensured that DMCN remains a very highly regarded and much cited publication in the field. The work of Dr Rosenbloom, along with Dr Peter Baxter, Dr Hilary Hart, and Professor Bernard Dan in helping the journal achieve this prominence has been remarkable.
He chaired MKP’s Board of Directors until his retirement in 2014. He remained as a member of the Editorial Board until 2018.
‘My dual editorial and management roles for the Press have been rewarded by its development as a robust, independent, and very respected journal and book publisher in child neurology and specifically in neurological disability. This has been in an era when there have been, and remain, many challenges for Scientific Technical and Medical publishers. A personal reward is that my work with the press has brought many lifelong friendships that I shall always value.’
Board of Directors
Mac Keith Press is managed by a Board of Directors. Members of the Board are both trustees and directors and have powers, duties and responsibilities under charity and company legislation.
The Board of Directors appoints an Editorial Board which oversees the strategic development of its publications.
Editorial policy is under the direction of an Editorial Board with internationally recognised experts as its members.
As of April 2018, Mac Keith Press is no longer a subsidiary of Scope: it is a completely independent charitable company.